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  Definition of play
  1. the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
  2. play by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules; "Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child"
  3. the activity of doing something in an agreed succession; "it is my turn"; "it is still my play"
  4. the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize); "his gambling cost him a fortune"; "there was heavy play at the blackjack table"
  5. gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement; "it was all done in play"; "their frolic in the surf threatened to become ugly"
  6. a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill; "he made a great maneuver"; "the runner was out on a play by the shortstop"
  7. a preset plan of action in team sports; "the coach drew up the plays for her team"
  8. an attempt to get something; "they made a futile play for power"; "he made a bid to gain attention"
  9. utilization or exercise; "the play of the imagination"
  10. movement or space for movement; "there was too much play in the steering wheel"
  11. verbal wit (often at another''s expense but not to be taken seriously); "he became a figure of fun"
  12. a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage; "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"
  13. a theatrical performance of a drama; "the play lasted two hours"
  14. a weak and tremulous light; "the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers"; "the play of light on the water"
  15. the removal of constraints; "he gave free rein to his impulses"; "they gave full play to the artist''s talent"
  16. a state in which action is feasible; "the ball was still in play"; "insiders said the company''s stock was in play"
  17. (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds; "rain stopped play in the 4th inning"
  18. engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously; "They played games on their opponents"; "play the stockmarket"; "play with her feelings"; "toy with an idea"
  19. pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
  20. exhaust by allowing to pull on the line; "play a hooked fish"
  21. consider not very seriously; "He is trifling with her"; "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"
  22. participate in games or sport; "We played hockey all afternoon"; "play cards"; "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"
  23. contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle; "Princeton plays Yale this weekend"; "Charlie likes to play Mary"
  24. employ in a game or in a specific position; "They played him on first base"
  25. use or move; "I had to play my queen"
  26. shoot or hit in a particular manner; "She played a good backhand last night"
  27. bet or wager (money); "He played $20 on the new horse"; "She plays the races"
  28. put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game; "He is playing his cards close to his chest"; "The Democrats still have some cards to play before they will concede the electoral victory"
  29. stake on the outcome of an issue; "I bet $100 on that new horse"; "She played all her money on the dark horse"
  30. make bets; "Play the reaces"; "play the casinos in Trouville"
  31. use to one''s advantage; "She plays on her clients'' emotions"
  32. discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream; "play water from a hose"; "The fountains played all day"
  33. manipulate manually or in one''s mind or imagination; "She played nervously with her wedding ring"; "Don''t fiddle with the screws"; "He played with the idea of running for the Senate"
  34. cause to happen or to occur as a consequence; "I cannot work a miracle"; "wreak havoc"; "bring comments"; "play a joke"; "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area"
  35. perform on a certain location; "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16"; "She has been playing on Broadway for years"
  36. be performed; "What''s playing in the local movie theater?"; "`Cats'' has been playing on Broadway for many years"
  37. cause to emit recorded sounds; "They ran the tapes over and over again"; "Can you play my favorite record?"
  38. emit recorded sound; "The tape was playing for hours"; "the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"
  39. play a role or part; "Gielgud played Hamlet"; "She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role"; "She played the servant to her husband''s master"
  40. perform on a stage or theater; "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar''"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol''"
  41. pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity; "Let''s play like I am mommy"; "Play cowboy and Indians"
  42. replay (as a melody); "Play it again, Sam"; "She played the third movement very beautifully"
  43. play on an instrument; "The band played all night long"
  44. perform music on (a musical instrument); "He plays the flute"; "Can you play on this old recorder?"
  45. move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly; "The spotlights played on the politicians"
  46. cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space; "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"
  47. act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome; "This factor played only a minor part in his decision"; "This development played into her hands"; "I played no role in your dismissal"
  48. engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion; "On weekends I play"; "The students all recreate alike"
  49. be at play; be engaged in playful activity; amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children; "The kids were playing outside all day"; "I used to play with trucks as a little girl"
  50. behave carelessly or indifferently; "Play about with a young girl''s affection"
  51. behave in a certain way; "play safe"; "play it safe"; "play fair"
  52. be received or accepted or interpreted in a specific way; "This speech didn''t play well with the American public"; "His remarks played to the suspicions of the committee"
Similar Words: swordplay, child's play, turn, gambling, gaming, frolic, romp, gambol, caper, maneuver, manoeuvre, bid, looseness, fun, sport, drama, dramatic play, shimmer, free rein, playing period, period of play, toy, act, act as, dally, trifle, meet, encounter, take on, bet, wager, fiddle, diddle, bring, work, wreak, make for, run, represent, roleplay, playact, spiel, recreate, flirt


See Also: play out, entertain, think of, toy with, flirt with, think about, stage, bring about, arrange, effect, effectuate, set up, induce, bring on, pull off, negociate, bring off, carry off, manage, raise, conjure, conjure up, invoke, evoke, stir, call down, arouse, bring up, put forward, call forth


Hyponyms: fencing, house, doctor, fireman, move, start, starting, innings, attack, down, bat, at-bat, lead, ruff, trumping, sporting life, bet, wager, game of chance, gambling game, unlicensed gambling, throw, flirt, flirting, flirtation, coquetry, dalliance, toying, folly, foolery, tomfoolery, craziness, lunacy, indulgence, game, horseplay, teasing, word play, takeaway, figure, completion, pass completion, ball hawking, assist, icing, icing the puck, jugglery, obstruction, footwork, stroke, shot, safety blitz, linebacker blitzing, blitz, mousetrap, trap play, knock on, football play, razzle-dazzle, razzle, razzmatazz, razmataz, basketball play, baseball play, wiggliness, slack, slackness, jocosity, jocularity, waggery, waggishness, drollery, clowning, comedy, funniness, pun, punning, wordplay, paronomasia, Grand Guignol, theater of the absurd, playlet, miracle play, morality play, mystery play, Passion play, satyr play, musical, musical comedy, musical theater, curtain raiser, hole, golf hole, chukka, chukker, inning, frame, set, turn, bout, round, first period, second period, third period, final period, half, period, quarter, over, curl, snooker, revoke, develop, die, misplay, fumble, volley, unblock, replay, cricket, backstop, fullback, quarterback, cradle, exit, play out, field, catch, face off, bully off, tee off, ace, complete, nail, gamble, walk, bowl, golf, bandy, foul, put out, croquet, putt, seesaw, bid, call, confront, face, promote, hook, underplay, pitch, cover, declare, bet on, back, gage, stake, punt, raise, see, retire, debut, make, pretend, make believe, support, enact, reenact, act out, impersonate, portray, parody, emote, stooge, mime, pantomime, overact, ham it up, ham, overplay, underact, riff, fiddle, prelude, jazz, rag, bugle, reprise, reprize, repeat, recapitulate, slur, bang out, modulate, tongue, sound off, strike up, swing, symphonize, symphonise, play along, accompany, follow, bow, register, skirl, beat, tweedle, chord, pipe, drum, harp, trumpet, clarion, horse around, arse around, fool around, fool, frolic, lark, rollick, skylark, disport, sport, cavort, gambol, frisk, romp, run around, lark about, dabble, paddle, splash around


Grouped Verbs: act, behave, do, represent, dally, toy, flirt, meet, encounter, take on, bet, wager, work, roleplay, playact, run, execute, act as, spiel, recreate, trifle


Entailments: compete, vie, contend


Part Meronyms: game, athletic game


Derivational Morphology: bet, wager, bet on, back, gage, stake, game, punt, gamble, caper, frolic, lark, rollick, skylark, disport, sport, cavort, gambol, frisk, romp, run around, lark about, recreate, steer, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, direct, point, head, guide, channelize, channelise, bid, dramatize, dramatise, adopt, act, roleplay, playact, represent, shimmer, meet, encounter, take on, plaything, toy, playing, playing period, period of play, player, participant, brush, clash, skirmish, sports meeting, gambling, gaming, stakes, bettor, better, wagerer, punter, twiddler, fiddler, drama, dramatic play, theatrical performance, theatrical, representation, histrionics, actor, histrion, thespian, role player, acting, playacting, performing, routine, number, turn, bit, barnstormer, playactor, play-actor, trouper, roleplaying, musician, instrumentalist, looseness, diversion, recreation, child's play, flirt, flirting, flirtation, coquetry, dalliance, toying


Language Translations:
Albanian: lojë   Arabic: لعبة  
Catalan: actuar and joc and jugar and obra and participar, jugar and tocar   Chinese: and 表演 and 戲劇  
Croatian: igra   Danish: leg and stykke  
Dutch: optreden and spel and spelen   Esperanto: ludi and ludo  
Finnish: leikki and leikkiä and näytellä and näytelmä and pelata and soittaa   French: jeu and jouer and pièce  
German: Schauspiel and Spiel and spielen   Hebrew: לנגן and לשחק and משחק  
Hungarian: darab and játék and játszik   Icelandic: leika and spila  
Italian: dramma and giocare and gioco and suonare   Japanese: 遊ぶ and 演劇 and 演奏  
Korean: 놀다 and 연극 and 연기를 하다   Kurdish: yarî and şano  
Latin: ludus and lūdere   Malayalam: കളി and നാടകം  
Norwegian: spill   Polish: bawić and grać and sztuka and zabawa  
Portuguese: atuar and jogar and jogo and peça and tocar   Romanian: joc and juca  
Russian: игра and играть and пьеса   Slovak: hrať sa  
Slovene: igra and igrati and igrati se   Spanish: juego and jugar and obra and tocar  
Swedish: agera and leka and pjäs and spel and spela   Telugu: ఆడు and నాటకం  
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